Kant’s Categorical Imperative

 Introduction Kant’s famous First Formulation of the Categorical Imperative reads, “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.” Kant taught morality as a matter of following maxims of living that reflect absolute laws. “Universal” is a term that allows for no exceptions, and what is universal applies always and everywhere. Lying, for any reason, is universally wrong. Be sure to listen to the audio simulation in this week’s lesson before posting in this discussion. For the initial post, select one of the following scenarios: Consider the famous case of the Crazed Murderer. In your town the Crazed Murderer comes to your door looking for your friend and wanting to kill him. You know that your friend went home to hide. What do you tell the murderer? When he leaves and runs up the street to your friend’s house, what do you do? Consider the positions for and against stem cell research. If stem cell research can benefit a large segment of the population (from repairing cells to curing diseases), is it our duty to continue with such research even if there is the potential to abuse such technology? If so, what steps should be taken to prevent such abuses. Apply the Three Primary Schools of Ethics to determine if stem cell research should be allowed or prohibited. Transcript of this weeks Audio Kant: My name is Immanual Kant. You will hear about me throughout your study of ethics as the person who devised a Categorical Imperative. What, you may ask, is that? It is a statement of my view of ethics, in a positive, direct order to follow. My Categorical Imperatives states that you should “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.” Stated in an easier way, you should “Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of another, always at the same time as an end and never simply as a means.”

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